Marvel Studios has earned a lot of attention for announcing that one of the lead characters of the upcoming The Eternals movie will be LGBTQ, but now it’s turning heads because of a new casting report which indicates the studio may be doing something it’s rarely, if ever, done before.
Gemma Chan, who played the Kree sniper Minn-Erva in this year’s Captain Marvel, is reportedly in talks to join The Eternals cast – but potentially in a different role altogether. Plus, Barry Keoghan, who recently appeared on HBO’s Chernobyl and has starred in films like Dunkirk and American Animals, is also on board. Here’s what we know so far.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Barry Keoghan is officially on board the newest Marvel Studios movie, though it’s unclear what role he’ll be playing.
The more interesting note, though, comes from Variety, who says it’s still unknown if Chan (Crazy Rich Asians) will be reprising the role of Minn-Erva in The Eternals. The outlet claims that more than one source has told them her part will be a totally different role, and if that’s true, it would be a rare casting decision for Marvel Studios, which has not made a habit of giving actors multiple parts across the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It seemed as if Stan Lee was one of the few exceptions to the rule, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 retconned all of his cameos into him being the same person. Factoring in the television side of things, Clark Gregg has played two characters on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Mahershala Ali showed up in Luke Cage but has now been cast as the new Blade. Back on the movie side, it gets a bit more complicated when you take production into account, because you have people like Taika Waititi, who did the performance capture for Surtur and voiced Korg in Thor: Ragnarok, and Sean Gunn, who plays Kraglin the Ravager and does the on-set reference work as Rocket Raccoon, crouching and interacting with actors on set until Bradley Cooper comes in and records the voiceover later in the process. And don’t forget about Paul Bettany, who voiced J.A.R.V.I.S. and played Vision years later. But if I’m not mistaken, this could be the first time a live-action actor may be playing two different characters in the MCU in a non-cameo capacity.
Of course, if she does end up playing Minn-Erva again, that’d make sense, too – the Eternals are a cosmic race of immortal aliens who have been sent by the Celestials to protect Earth from a race of humanoids known as The Deviants, and the conflict between those two races is at the heart of the film. Bringing the Kree back into the fold, either as an ally or an enemy, wouldn’t be too surprising. (Though, for clarification’s sake, just know that Minn-Erva would need to appear before the events of Captain Marvel, since she dies in that movie. But the Eternals have been hiding on Earth for 35,000 years in the comics, so I suspect we’ll be jumping around in time a lot in that movie.)
If her deal goes through, Chan and Keoghan will join Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Don Lee, Lia McHugh, and Kumail Nanjiani in the cast. Chloe Zhao (The Rider) is directing The Eternals, which arrives in theaters on November 6, 2020.
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